Books and the City

The Strand

I was lucky enough to just spend a few great, freezing days in New York City with my mother-in-law, and of course I've figured out a way to turn it in to a post. A relevant post, mind you.

First of all, I actually read a lot on the trip- it was five hours over and six hours back, meaning I was able to pu
t in a chunk of time devoted towards a few magazines (Runner's World, Vanity Fair, and In Style) and the book I was reading, The Lonely Polygamist. By the way, Jet Blue really is the way to fly. More leg room, big leather seats, personal TV screens, free snacks, and a no children under the age of 12 rule. Okay, the last one's not true, but a girl can wish.

Secondly, I have to take a second to mention my love for travel guides. Whenever I'm going somewhere new I get one, proudly displaying them on my bookcase for the two people that regularly visit our apartment to see and ask about. "Oh, [insert place here], you've been?" Fodor's is my favorite brand, namely because it's in color.

While in New York we visited the Public Library in Manhattan on a whim (whim as in like we're passing by on our way to the Empire State Building. not knowing what it is until we read the sign, kind of whim). The architecture is beautiful- I love that so much care was put into a building meant for housing and sharing books. Oh, and um, Carrie and Big were almost married there in the monstrosity that is the Sex and the City movie. Yes, I'm a fan. I can't help it- I'm a twenty-something girl that appreciates designer clothes and likes to hear smart women talk about penises. Please note that I did not say the SATC "movie" or "book." Anyway, the library was beautiful and I wish I had gotten married there. Maybe next time. Just kidding.

We also went to The Strand, the bookstore that boasts "18 miles of books." Just to clarify, they mean if they were to take all the books they have and lay them out it would be 18 miles. I could have spent the better part of a weekend there, browsing their "normal" books, as well as the floor dedicated to first editions and rare books. I overheard an employee recommend some art theory books to two college students because she had actually read them, although she "generally gravitates towards historical criticism." Take that stupid Borders employee who I recently heard tell a teenager that she'd have to look up who wrote The Scarlett Letter. I didn't buy any books, but I did pick up my only real souvenirs (shirts for the husband and I). I'm really not a souvenir person- I'm not a fan of getting them, so I don't really buy them for others. Why would I want a snow glove of the Grand Canyon when I've never been there? Plus, 80% of souvenirs (at least from the tourist shops) are what my grandma would call "dust collectors." Word, Grandma. Word.

I think, other than the UCLA campus, I've never seen so many people out and about reading (and running). The girl in the hotel business center was studying Metamorpheses for an art history class (yes, I asked her how she was liking it), people of all ages in Central Park sat on benches reading, and I spotted several people on the subway mulling over books and newspapers. Not to mention the fact that the city is home to pretty much every major publishing house, the New York Times, and Conde Naste.

There's nothing like a visit away to make you love where you currently live just a tad bit less.

1 comment:

  1. I want to go to New York again. Last time I went it was more of the college bar hoping experience. I would love to go to the museums. And I completely agree on the Souvenirs I'm not a fan.